For not being remotely Italian, I’m a bit of a pasta freak, to put it mildly. I would eat it twice a day. But I don’t. I try to exercise a little restraint and maybe serve up some noodle-y goodness about once a week.

And then I found this recipe and that resolution might go out the window. Basically, I was searching around for a bunch of other stuff when I came across Marcella Hazan‘s secret tomato sauce. In fact, I found it in multiple places, like here and here. They write a bit more eloquently about the subject. And for less than $2, I figured even if I hated it, I couldn’t go wrong.

So here’s the recipe:

1-28 oz./796mL can of best quality whole, peeled tomatoes.

5 Tbsp. butter

1 – medium onion, peeled and cut in half

Salt to taste

Put the onions in your pan, cut side down and then dump everything else in. I like to start with a little bit of salt and then I added a bit more later after I’d tasted it. It looked something like this:


Pretty, right? Let this simmer on low for 35-50 minutes. I went with around 45 minutes. Periodically break up the tomatoes and it cooks down. You’re on the right track if it starts to look like this:


Lip-smacking is a perfectly acceptable response. When the simmer was done, I just discarded the onions, checked the seasoning and then tossed with some spaghetti (and a little of the pasta water) that I set on the stove before the sauce was done. We topped with real parmesan and fresh cucumbers and green things from our container garden rounded out the plate.

The verdict: An easy, velvety tomato sauce with highly addictive properties. That left me time to push my babies on the swing outside while it was cooking. You will do this forever.

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